In the movie "Braveheart", Mel Gibson stars as William Wallace, commoner who led the people of Scotland in their fight for independence from Great Britain.
In one of the more famous scenes in the movie, he urges his fellow Scots into battle, against seemingly insurmountable odds with one word: FREEDOM!
Freedom is one goal, one desire that has united individuals, and groups of people over the entire time of man's existence.
It's also something that we take for granted...and sometimes misuse...when we have it.
It's no secret: In America, we have more freedom (or at least, we did at one time) than any other people on earth.
Have we used that freedom well?
Morally, our thirst for freedom has actually been an expression of rebellion--against ANY standards whatsoever!
It almost seems that ANY standards of ANY kind--other than total individualism, total self-centeredness and total narcissism--is resisted.
Is THIS what freedom is all about?
I don't think so.
I beleive the desire for freedom is God-given. Yet, those who revel in it to suit their own desires actually end up mis-using it--at least, according to God's standards.
God designed us; He knows how this life works best, and it works best when we submit ourselves--willingnly--to Him.
If instead we DEMAND our own way, and DEMAND, like a petulant child, that He give us 'what we want,when we want it', we are on a collision course with reality that will be painful for us...and all who love us!
Freedom does not mean 'the ability to do what I want, when I want to, with no hindrances placed on me from anyone'. Rather, real freedom--which is for our good and others' good--also happens to be...for God's glory.
You've seen the bumper stickers which say "Freedom isn't free", right?
Well, real freedom for us cost the Son of God his life! He had to PAY for our freedom!
"So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins." (Ephesians 1:6-7)
The Freedom that we were meant and designed to experience is one that is for our good and His glory. We have 'freedom' from sin and death.
"So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death." (Romans 8:1-2)
THAT is real freedom--freedom to be everything God has made us to be!
It is through Jesus' sacrifice--which we note this weekend--that this freedom was made possible.
Let's NOT take it for granted; rather, let's embrace it as it was meant to be, willingly submitting ourselves to God's will.
Praise God, it can be ours--in Christ Jesus!